Review article

Literature review (including systematic review).

Review articles are an attempt to summarize the current state of understanding on a topic.

They analyze or discuss research previously published by others, rather than reporting new experimental results.

An expert's opinion is valuable, but an expert's assessment of the literature can be more valuable. When reading individual articles, readers could miss features that are apparent to an expert clinician-researcher. Readers benefit from the expert's explanation and assessment of the validity and applicability of individual studies.

Review articles come in the form of systematic reviews and literature reviews and are a form of secondary literature.

Systematic reviews determine an objective list of criteria, and find all previously published original experimental papers that meet the criteria. They then compare the results presented in these papers. Literature reviews, by contrast, provide a summary of what the authors believe are the best and most relevant prior publications.

Some academic journals likewise specialize in review of a field; they are known as review journals.

The concept of “review article” is separate from the concept of peer-reviewed literature. It is possible for a review to be peer-reviewed, and it is possible for a review to be non-peer-reviewed. See also

Book review, a completely unrelated type of publication

Case series, sometimes called a clinical review because it reviews or summarizes the records for a series of patients at a single medical clinic

Review journal

Review articles give an overview of existing literature in a field, often identifying specific problems or issues and analysing information from available published work on the topic with a balanced perspective 1). These are considered as secondary literature and can be a particularly efficient way for early career researchers to begin publishing. Review articles can be of three types, broadly speaking: literature reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. Review articles are usually long, with the maximum word limit being 3000-5000 or even more, depending on the journal 2) 3) 4)

However, some journals also publish short reviews.

1) , 2)
Frontiers in group. Frontiers in Neuroscience [Accessed Feb 18, 2015] Available from
Sage Publications. Manuscript Submission Guidelines [Accessed Feb 18, 2015] Available from
Nature Publications. Author Resources [Accessed Feb 18, 2015] Avaialable from
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